One way to move your business to the next level is to join inner circles, mastermind groups, and other types of memberships. These groups help you make contact with people who may want to use your services or buy your products. Or they might simply offer a “water cooler” type environment to help you socially and educationally.
It can be difficult to know which masterminds you should join. Here are a few tips to point you in the right direction.
There are a variety of reasons why you may want to join a mastermind. Sometimes that reason is to find new clients, and sometimes that reason is to expand your network of colleagues. This is something often done by people who work from home and also who work at jobs such as an association of bookkeepers or a networking group that comprises only one member from each industry. Which kind you want to join is something you need to be clear about.
Check out the mastermind materials to ensure that the group's mission fits in with your own ideas and values. There are many mastermind groups and memberships that will not, but there are some that will be right on the mark. Being in a group that's on the mark is going to be more beneficial to you because you're going to be proud to be part of the group.
If you can get a trial membership, that's a good way to check it out before joining. You want to make sure that the members are active and that they are really doing things. There are many memberships where people just join to get on a list, but that's not going to serve you very well. Make sure you're involved with a membership that is active.
Every group and mastermind has some sort of benefits and perks for joining. For some it's educational opportunities, for others it's a social type benefit such as weekly luncheons. There are even some that offer less expensive liability insurance or health insurance, depending on the state you're in and the rules. Check out the benefits and perks as you narrow down your choices.
When it comes to your business, joining a mastermind is tax deductible as a business expense. However, you want to make sure that you get a return on your investment. Think about the cost of the membership, what benefits you should get out of it, and whether or not that helps your business and bottom line.
Interviewing members is a great idea because you can find out what they think about the membership. Ask them the right questions, such as what they have got out of the membership this year in terms of return on investment. Ask them how involved they are.
If you can talk to people who used to be members and aren't any longer, then that's really great. Ask them why they left; it might be due to being too busy to be involved or some other reason, and the mastermind may still be wonderful.
There is no real point in joining a mastermind if you're not going to participate, because only in participation will you get the benefit of the mastermind. Joining in and volunteering is how you'll prove your trustworthiness and abilities.
A mastermind is a wonderful way to gain knowledge, make connections, and boost your business. But, you have to choose the right type of mastermind for your goal, plus remember that you must dive in and participate to get the results that you want to get.
Hiring a business coach is an important next level for most sole proprietors. If you think about it, no CEO does everything alone when it comes to running a business. They have assistants and advisers and many people that help keep them focused on and on track. A lot of times they also have a board of directions that create the focus and goals for them. They only have to implement them.
A business coach can be like a board of directors who helps you keep your business on track based on your stated goals. It doesn’t matter where you are in your business’s development - a business coach can be useful for many reasons.
If you’re still in start-up phase, finding a business coach who specializes in start-up of a business like yours can be invaluable. They can help you because they already know the steps to take and how to direct you.
Once you’ve built a business to a particular level, it can be uncomfortable to push through to the next stage. But a trained and experienced business coach can give you the guidance and push (shove if needed) to move your business up a level. When you share your goals, they’ll help you create steps to reach them.
Sometimes a business owner just gets stuck and has no idea at all what they need to do to move forward. Sometimes they’re not even sure if they even want to move forward anymore. If you are stuck, and bored, and unsure of your direction, a business coach can help guide you and give you clarity.
Many business owners suffer from “shiny object syndrome” which is dangerous to the direction of the business. It can hold back a business owner from achieving success because they’re always starting something new instead of finishing each project. A business coach can help you avoid this issue.
Are you working more in your business and not spending time with your family? Or, is your family intruding on your working hours so that you cannot become successful in your business? Either way a good business coach can help you reach balance so that you have a good life.
Not sure yet what your “why” is regarding doing your business? If you have that problem, a good business coach can help you identify why you are doing what you’re doing and better focus on your unique selling proposition and target audience.
Every business owner needs a plan of action. A business coach won’t make your plans for you but they can help you narrow down what is essential and what is not so that your plan is easy to implement.
Being a sole proprietor has its advantages but it also has many risks, including the fact that you’re not accountable to anyone. Having someone in whom you’re accountable who isn’t afraid to call you out when necessary is an essential way to create a successful business.
These are all great reasons to hire a business coach as soon as possible. Waiting around to hire a business coach is just making the success you seek further from your grasp. The sooner you hire an educated and experienced business coach, the sooner you’ll reach all your goals.
When you decide that you want to get a business coach, you need to ensure that you find the right coach for you. Nothing is worse than hiring the wrong coach because it can be a large expense and you want to get a return on any investment that you make in your business. Therefore, if you do the research you need to do before hiring a coach, you’ll save yourself a lot of problems and missteps.
Before hiring any coach, they’re going to have you go through a lot of questions to make sure you are right for them, but you should also ask the questions you need to ask to ensure that they are right for you. These are good questions to ask, but remember to also keep in mind what’s good for you. You want a coach that challenges you, and pushes you outside of your boundaries; otherwise you won’t experience the wonderful benefits of hiring a coach.
While having coaching certification isn’t required by law, nor even required to be a good coach, the fact that someone spent the time and money on going through a program to become certified is a good sign that they take their business seriously and are devoted to making this profession their career. Listen to how they answer the question whether or not they’re certified; it will say a lot about how they deal with pressure.
This is an important consideration because if you plan to use a brand new coach you should pay a lot less since they aren’t experienced. But, if they’ve had training, that doesn't necessarily mean that they won’t do a good job if everything else comes together. The important thing here is to listen to their answer. It’s important to value honesty and hear how the coach deals with your questions.
The coach needs to be clear on who their target audience is if they want to help you be clear on where you’re going in your business. Do they work with only six figures and up businesses? Do they work with start-ups? What stage of business do they want to work with to best use their skills?
Do they like working with sole proprietors, or larger companies? A coach who is used to working with a corporation might not like working with a work-at-home mom, for instance. The answers are really important and if they don’t normally work with your size of business, you should follow up with asking why they want to work with yours.
Knowing what type of industry they like to work with is very useful. If your business works with authors, but they normally work with businesses who sell retail merchandise, they might not be a good fit for you. Hiring a coach familiar with your industry and what it takes to be successful is imperative, or they may not be able to advice you well.
The answer to this question should be something new over and above the insight you received from the above questions. They may be tempted to repeat their specialty, but dig deeper and find out what they’re really good at within that specialty.
When you are hiring anyone to help you within your business, it’s a good idea to always think about the numbers and which metrics you’ll study to find out if what you’re doing is working. If your ideal coach doesn’t know which metrics they can help you improve based on what you want to work on with them, you might want to question whether or not the expense is worth it.
If you need a lot of guidance in getting your business off the ground or to the next level, having a coach who brings other skills aside from typical coaching to the table can be an additional help to push your business to the next level of success. It really depends on what you need as to which answer you like best for this question.
The important thing is to be clear on what you need prior to interviewing a business coach. You may not be sure at first, but interviewing several coaches may help clarify for you what you want in a coach and what type of personality you’d work best with. Remember, as they interview you, you need to interview them as well.
Everyone has something they know that they can teach to others. Anyone can create an online course to teach other people what they know. But, when you sit down to come up with teachable topics you want to keep these 8 killer questions in mind.
What Do You Know? – There is usually something you are passionate about and that you already know that you can teach to others. For example, maybe you know the secret to making the perfect peanut butter cookie? You can teach the fundamentals of baking a peanut butter cookie and what is important to make it come out perfect.
What Do You Want to Know? – Even if you do not know how to do something, you can still create an online course. Just learn how to do it and create step-by-step instructions as you go to create an online course with that information.
What Are Your Strengths? – It is important to know what your strengths are because creating a course requires several steps. For example, you may need to add video, or create screen shots, or write a great deal of material. Any one of these things may require learning or outsourcing.
Who Is Your Audience? – It is important to start with an audience that you want to teach. Then you can find out what they want to know and create courses for them. Even if you do not know the material personally, you can interview subject matter experts, or even hire someone to create the course for you.
What Is the Goal? – Once you have decided upon a potential topic, can you figure out what the end goal is? What do you want to teach your audience? What do you want them to walk away from the course knowing?
What Is the Main Objective? – You need to figure out your main objective for teaching a course at all, then the objective of the course. Do you want to teach them something they need to know so that you can earn extra money, or do you want to teach them something so that they can also learn about other offerings you have?
What Tools Do You Need? – When you determine the ideas you want to teach to your audience, you will need to make a list of tools you need for creating the course. Perhaps that means you will need a good video camera or a stand for your iPhone so that you can video yourself cooking. Or maybe you need a tool like Camtasia to edit the videos.
What Platform Is Right for Your Course? – Once you work out all the details, you will need to figure out where to host your course so that you can easily promote it. You can host it with the right software right on your own domain, or you can use a system like Udemy.com to sell your course. It is up to you.
Teaching online courses can be very lucrative if you find the right information that people want to know, find the right platform, and market the course in a way that gets people to sign up. The idea for the topic is just the beginning.